Big Data Technologies: New Opportunities for Diabetes Management

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The so-called big data revolution provides substantial opportunities to diabetes management. At least 3 important directions are currently of great interest. First, the integration of different sources of information, from primary and secondary care to administrative information, may allow depicting a novel view of patient’s care processes and of single patient’s behaviors, taking into account the multifaceted nature of chronic care. Second, the availability of novel diabetes technologies, able to gather large amounts of real-time data, requires the implementation of distributed platforms for data analysis and decision support. Finally, the inclusion of geographical and environmental information into such complex IT systems may further increase the capability of interpreting the data gathered and extract new knowledge from them. This article reviews the main concepts and definitions related to big data, it presents some efforts in health care, and discusses the potential role of big data in diabetes care. Finally, as an example, it describes the research efforts carried on in the MOSAIC project, funded by the European Commission.

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